“FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.” (1 Peter 3:12 NASB)
This quotation is from David in Psalm 34. Both writers (David and Peter) make it plain that the righteous is speaking about a certain kind of person that is attainable to be like and not just an illusion to the only Person to walk the face of the planet that was perfectly righteous. In other words, there is a category of persons in the Bible called the righteous. It is possible for any person to be considered part of this category without them being a perfect specimen of righteous. These persons have God’s eyes and ears upon them so much so that he attends to their prayers. This seems like it would be desirous to all people, as oppose to not being considered righteous so that God does not attend their prayers and his face is actually against them. So how do I become part of the group of righteous persons?
Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:11–18 NASB)
- We must be teachable students of Scripture. David says to listen to his instruction and he will teach us the fear of the Lord.
- We must fear the Lord.
- We must guard our tongue from evil and deceitful speech.
- We must depart from evil and do good.
- We must seek peace and pursue it.
- We must cry out for help from the Lord.
- We must be characterized by having a crushed and broken spirit as opposed to a proud and hard one.
I suggest prayerfully going through each one of these to see if this list defines you. When Jesus places His Spirit inside an individual, He makes a certain type of person; a person that resembles Himself. If you are a Christian, this list should define you in part. It should not be the case where one or more points should be completely removed from defining you as a person. Let’s say we are driving down the road and you see an animal in the ditch. You ask me to stop so we can get a better look. We pull next to the animal and you say, “wow, look at that huge dog!” I say, “dog?” “It has no muzzle, it meowed but didn’t bark, and just climbed up that tree!” You insist that it was a dog, but didn’t have the qualities that are associated with the definition of a dog. No matter what we may think it is, no matter what the animal may think it is; the animal is in no way a dog.
In much the same way, the qualities that define a Christian should all be there in part. The snout may be small and the paws might look like claws, but if it’s a dog, it will bark.